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#17147 The Fear of God must Return to the House of God - An Angry Venting by a broke...

Posted by Speilb on 27 June 2014 - 06:09 PM

When your furious and literally sick to your stomach you probably shouldn't write anything. But here's to throwing that to the wind.

Today a woman stopped by with a young man she was going to be getting married to on Monday. She asked me if I recognized her. It took me a minute so she said, "I am the woman who parked in your driveway the other night after I had been in a fight..." I did remember. It was @11:30 at night and I couldn't understand anything she was saying though her tears (at least I cannot remember anything she said) but I prayed with her. Anyway today she was back. She told me about how her and her boyfriend were getting married because as many times as she had tried to forget about him she couldn't. I told them that was a bad reason to get married. She said she didn't want to live in sin anymore... She told me about how everyone seemed to be against their relationship.... Anyway, I tried to help them and give them some good advice (to caution them about marriage) over the fence in a limited time since I was with my kids and my little girl was listening (she also picked her flowers).

The woman told about how she was born addicted to 7 different drugs. How she had been afflicted by demons. How she had been thrown off a balcony in her first marriage. How her second marriage was also not good. I questioned if she knew how to find a stable husband. The young man didn't take offense I think he could tell it was a reasonable question and not a personal attack.

I could tell they were both hungry for God but they were conflicted and confused.

I have seen this kind of thing quite often. This woman was born into a place where Satan ruled and according to her she was afflicted by demons since birth.

At a young age she was introduced to the man who would become her father-in-law. He was the pastor and in a stable marriage. He is a man I know. He is beloved by many and known for being one of the most friendly and outgoing and always joyful (he is also known for hugging ladies a little too long). He loves to put children on his lap and talk to them. She told me about how he had come to her bedroom...and forced himself on her.

I did something I normally wouldn't do. I told her that I didn't want to hear more because I already knew that the person and the church were dealers in false religion and didn't really know Jesus (I guess I was sick of my heart being broken by these stories). She continued on. Telling me about how the pastor had lived with his current wife of 2 years before they got married and how the church didn't care. How the church doesn't care that to this day he still will hug her and grab her butt.

Like I said, I know the pastor. He is beloved for his friendliness. I believe most people question his Christian commitment and all the old ladies in the church are a little uncomfortable with him. I told someone that attends the church about my conversation with the victim (I wasn't meaning too because I knew the response). The person said "that is a church that sure seems to be blessed of God and that I should not let such things effect me too much". I said, "How could God be in a church that turns a blind eye to childhood sexual abuse" (and I listed off several other things as well that I know of in the same church).

Since moving to the area I have been made aware of more information that I can handle (I don't know why people show up out of no-where to tell me these things). I have reliable word about 2 of the biggest churches in the area whose pastors fell to sexual sin with their secretary, another with a church member, a pastor who left the church and then they found out that they had not been paying their bills and owed the IRS over 1 Million and didn't know where the money went, another pastor was on drugs for many years, I have info on what is going on at Jimmy Swaggart ministries today that is demonic, and honestly there is so much more that I cannot mention here. It literally makes me sick.

What makes me so mad about all this is that I believe in Hell. And I believe such actions by pastors are used of Satan to keep people from the Truth and that people perish because such pastors are not able to share with them because of their filthy lives. How many people have been turned off from God because of Jimmy Swaggart's failure? And then this pastor who I learned today did unspeakable things to this woman somehow felt he couldn't do these things to Christians but could to do them to an unchurched person. He didn't care that he was putting a tremendous hurdle in the way of her salvation. I don't think he cared if his action would keep her from hearing the Truth. I think he was willing for her to go to hell for his disgusting twisted pleasure.

I don't think I am better then any of these pastors or elders. I can look at many pastors prior to their falls and see them as people I could look up to in my current Spiritual Journey. But then in many of the cases I can see how pride came in, some "little" compromises, and soon unspeakable evil was committed. I won't bore you will all the many things I have learned from pastors who later fell but they have said some very significant things that helped me.

The question was raised on another post concerning the fear of God. I can say in all honesty I love the fear of God. I know my flesh. I know I am no better then those that fell to outrageous sin because its roots are in me as well. And I know I can count on Satan's help any time I want to compromise and he is waiting to lead me into sin and control me with it.

I need God's power to resist sin but I also need the fear of God. Maybe a better way to say it would be "I don't believe that God manifests His Power in those who do not fear Him."

In looking at the Hebrew and the Greek when we talk about "fear" in the context of fearing God we find that "fear" actually means "fear". Many try to tone it down saying the fear actually means respect. Or as I talked to a pastor once of a church filled with Godlessness on all levels (it was a confrontation). I asked him "well then what does it mean to 'fear' God?" He said, "honestly I don't know". That made sense to me, while he led a Godless church he was doing so without knowing the fear of God or even knowing what it was.

The true lovers of God in the Old Testament knew much about the fear of God. They walked in it and it was to them access to God and to His blessings. In the New Testament the fear of God did not change. Jesus did nothing to abolish the fear of God. We can find much evidence in scripture the even the disciples feared Jesus (I won't list examples here but feel free to ask for them). The early church was dramatically struck with the fear of God (read Acts 5:1-16). People were terrified of rousing God's anger. Think of the children and the adults who came to worship and saw two members dragged out dead from the fellowship because the had lied and God's judgement struck them on the spot. God made sure the early church had a healthy dose of the Fear of God.

All of the Great Revivals and Awakenings were awakenings to the fear of God and to the reality that to "fear God" was actually to fear God. Revival happens when judgement begins with the House of God.

I am convinced that the pastor and pastors who I mentioned lacked a fear of God (I have evidence of this in all cases besides the obvious evidence). When I hear these things I cry out "how could they not have feared the Lord?" When I sin, I cry out and say "how is it that I do not fear the Lord enough to think I sin against Him and think it will go unpunished?"

We don't fear God because he is bad; we fear Him because he is GOOD and our flesh is evil. But with the fear of God in my heart I can cry out "who will rescue me from this body of sin and death" and as I watch my deliver in action I say "thanks be to God through Jesus Christ my Lord!"

I believe many Christians have a fear of God but they feel guilty about it because pastors have tried to steer them away from it. But it is there and if we embrace it; it will lead us into wisdom, Godliness, blessings, and most importantly Knowledge of the Holy God.

I long for a Holy Church and therefore I long for the Fear of God to sweep this nation and the world for the Glory of God.
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#17696 the crucified life

Posted by seeker on 25 October 2014 - 11:24 AM

I have been a believer for over 40 years. I have read Tozer and A.B.Simpson's work and truly loved them, but never could discover the life that they tried to convey. Three years ago, I retired from work and made the decision to find the kind of life they spoke of, no matter how long it took. I chose the scripture in Jeremiah that says I will be found of those who seek Me with their whole heart, as God's promise to me. At times, as Oswald Chambers described, I thought I would lose my mind. Other times I began to feel like I might not even be one of God's people. But recently I discovered the crucified life, not just in my mind but experientially as well. I never realized that when Jesus said Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled, one could actually experience something like that, much like being born again. I realized that although I had been born again, where I could see and have right to access to the kingdom of God, I remained all these years at the doorway to the kingdom. I read Romans 6:6 for years without it being fruitful and bringing access to the kingdom, but the scripture all of a sudden opened to me like a veil dropping from my eyes. I began experiencing carnal things drop off like shooing away a fly from my head. I then realized that Paul and the disciples as well as Tozer , Simpson and others really weren't great men of God, but that they had discovered Galatians 2:20 for themselves. No longer I but Christ lives in me, the crucified life. It is all by faith, that's why the scripture says it is impossible to please Him apart from faith. Apart from experiencing the crucified life we are left to wallow in carnality our whole life. He came to truly "set us free."


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#18764 The GCF: Open Our Hands, Lord

Posted by Liz Udall on 25 November 2015 - 01:27 PM

Today I listened to John Stumbo's Thursday Morning Address to Council from this summer. You can view the condensed version of this here: John Stumbo Video Blog No. 25. The Lord used this message to really convict me of the sin of consumerism, greed, and pride. The pride that I should be able to direct how each dollar I give should be used. The consumerism that says I need more and better things. The greed that wants to give just enough to check the box and no more.

 

I tend to think of myself as a generous person. My husband and I give to a number of our missionary friends. However, I know we can do so much more. Seeing what could happen if our Alliance churches gave 10% of their budget to the GCF was astounding. I really appreciated how John Stumbo shared from his heart about this. 

 

This is the prayer of my heart in response:

 

Lord, you gave freely of Yourself. You didn’t regard equality with God a thing to be held onto. You emptied Yourself, taking the form of a human servant. You poured Yourself out on the Cross. O God, everything I have belongs to You and is a gift from You. Would You enable me to live life with open hands? Open hands with everything You have entrusted to me? Show me how to respond to Your call to complete Your Great Comission. Give me the grace to obey.

 

Amen.


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#16926 Reflections of an old Physician

Posted by Charles Miles on 05 June 2014 - 05:48 AM

First let me say I`m sorry for the length of this post, but this morning I was going through some old letters and I found a treasure.  I just had to stop and tell someone, so the readers here came to mind.  Here goes....

 

In 1974 I was in Dallas at the Southern Baptist Convention, wearing my white USN uniform. and walking with a man named Owen Cooper.  The convention was contentious and the great problem of inerrancy of the Bible was causing the convention to almost split.  Mr Cooper was president of the SBC, so we were approached by a Dr Criswell, who was evidently  not happy with how things were going.  Both men are Godly men, so they naturally discussed solutions for some time....I was merely a bystander and I didn`t "have a dog in that fight", although Owen was my father-in-law.  Dr Criswell asked Mr Cooper..."well if you had to do all this over, how would you do it next time?" I waited for the answer, but Mr Cooper simply said..."You know that is a very good question, so let me get back to you about that."  After a few days, I had forgotten about the conversation, but I got a letter from Mr Cooper that said.."do you think this is an adequate answer for Dr Criswell?  If you think I shouldn`t mail it please let me know, and I won`t."   Well, I`ll let you people decide if it was or not.......

 

If I Had My Life To Live Over

 

If I had my life to live over,

  I would love more

 

I would especially love others more

I would let this love express itself in the concern for my neighbors, my friends, and all with whom I came in contact

 

I would try to let lover permeate me, overcome me, over whelm me, and direct me

I would love the unlovely, the unwanted, and the unloved

 

I would give more. I would learn early in life the joy of giving, the pleasure of sharing,

and the happiness of helping.

 

I would learn to give more than money

I would give some of life`s treasured possessions,

  such as time, thought, and kind words

 

If I had my life to live over

  I would be much more unconventional;

because life overlooks people,

I would socialize with them

 

Where custom acknowledges peers as best with whom we have fellowship, 

  I would want some non-peer friends,

Where tradition stratifies people because of economics, race, or religion,

  I would want to fellowship with friends in all strata.

 

I would choose to go

   where the crowd does not go,

Where the road is not paved,

  where the weather is bitter,

Where friends are few,

  where the need is great

 

And where God is most likely to be found.

 

               Owen Cooper

 

 

 

If any of you have time, you can google Mr Cooper and see what he did with his life.  He often reminded me the Jesus only gave us one commandment, so it has to be important

 

I praise God for men such as Mr Cooper, who not only talked the talk...he walked the walk,

 

 

Charlie


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#15639 Have I fallen?

Posted by Big John on 16 February 2014 - 10:18 AM

I have restrained myself from responding to these many posts because I know I will probably come across as harsh.  But I do not mean to be cruel or whatever.  So here goes.

 

To answer your first question.  No.  People do not care about you.  There are some christians who may but they are few and far between.  And when trying to find a church body with that overarching love and concern for its many members, it is even fewer.  Remember, most christians are Americans first.  That means we are independant and mostly very selfish.  Oh yeah, and that also means we are human, which is even worse.  Most churches in modern America have little in common with the idea that God ever had for this "institution".  Could say, oh so much more, but hopefully you get what I am trying to say.

 

All of that said, you truly can only find whatever it is you feel you need from God.  These circumstances that you have and are experiencing have one purpose.  And that is to cause your heart to cry out to God.  To cause your knees to buckle and fill your heart with that burning need for Gods overwhelming compassion and love.  He is there for us when we have no answers.  But it is in that secret place of repentence and brokeness that, we usually, will find Him.  I know for myself, that I usually have had to get the props kicked out from under me, before I ever even start to get the message.

 

Another personal observation.  And I know a lot of people will disagree but God is way more interested in helping you than He is interested in you helping anyone else.  Only people who have been helped can help.  Everyone thinks that the mission of christians and the church is to "save the lost".  That is true but it is supposed to happen naturally out of the wellsprings that flow up and out of the life that God has poured into us.  If you are a mess, then, be a mess and let God work on you.  After a while He may promote you and you can get to work helping without being a bigger hindrance than a helper.  The primary mission of christians is to get to know Jesus Christ.  Everything else will just follow.  Effort goes into getting to know God.  Getting saved just opens the door.  There are infinite miles to do and see and learn in the kingdom of God.  Ok.  Enough of all that.

 

Now, lastly, church is extremely important.  That being said, it is also really hard to find a really good church.  So what does one do?  You turn the problem over to God!  He will find you someplace that will teach you something about Him, IFFFF that is your purpose!  If you need to be a helper than go to whatever church you want and help!  But if you want to find God in a real and meaningful way then talk to God about it, go where He leads and submit yourself to the leadership until He leads you elsewhere.

 

Thats all I'm gonna say.  I'm not trying to be a jerk.  And not trying to patronize either.

 

Big John  


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#15064 I Will Stand! A poem of sobriety

Posted by DennisM on 28 December 2013 - 10:04 PM

Three years ago the Holy Spirit inspired me to write this poem in appreciation to God for my sobriety. Now 7 and a half years sober I still reflect on this as a reminder of where I came from and how far The Lord has brought me. Thank you Jesus for giving me the strength to stand!


I Will Stand!

I have fallen down
countless times,
falsely proclaiming:
"I am fine!"

Flat on my face
in every clime and place;
looking to the ground
for a sign of some grace.

Doing things my way
only led me astray;
to the bottle I'd run
'til it no longer was fun.

Destroying who God
so wonderfully made,
increasingly drove me more insane.

Once again
lying flat on my face,
I longed for some hope
just a little grace.

Years flew by
hope no longer in sight;
I began to wonder:
"Would I ever get this right?"

Then one day
as I began to cave,
I heard of a Savior
who conquered the grave!

Hope at last,
and it came so fast!
He brushed the dirt off my face
and washed away my past!

Never before
have I experienced such love;
that could have only been given
from our Father above.

His Word gave me hope
as I faced every mountain;
Jesus the Christ
to my soul was a fountain.

Although I'm not perfect
He graciously understands;
Here on this earth
I am still just a man.

"Run to win!" my Savior exclaims;
"Never will I leave nor forsake you" my Jesus proclaims!

Such words of encouragement
I JUST CANNOT FAIL!
A mighty wind is now blowing
which catches my sail!

Today I still battle
with demons and such,
but no longer do I stand
on my old useless crutch.

My Jesus, my Savior
'cause of Him I'm a new man;
both now and forever by His strength
I WILL STAND!
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#14806 Thanksgiving

Posted by Candice on 28 November 2013 - 12:35 PM

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

 

Betsy

Big John

Charles

Elizabeth

Ginger

Glenn

Julie

Kenny

Kevin

Lori

Peasetown

Radar

Thinker Ron

Travis

Ysa

 

I know I'm omitting someone here; however, no intent.  I hope the LORD continues to show you Himself as I know He will. Like Charlie says, "because He says He will."

 

Love,

Candice


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#14617 "Fixed" Faith

Posted by Thinker on 30 October 2013 - 06:00 AM

The kinds of faith discussed in the last two articles are examples of "flabby" or faulty faith. The faith that God requires is an absolute, unconditional trust. This is the kind of faith Job testified to in Job 13:15, where he said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him...." Abraham exercised a great faith in God's leading. With few, if any, of today's helps for those who travel, "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went" (Hebrews 11:8). He acted in even greater faith in Verse 17: "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac...." His faith was so fixed that he would sacrifice his son. He didn't have to, but he would have done it, if God hadn't intervened. He had faith that God would even raise Isaac from the dead. God offered His Son and He had to sacrifice Him for us. The three Hebrew children, facing the fear of burning to death, refused to compromise their faith. They said to the wicked despot, "....be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up" (Daniel 3:18). This kind of fixed faith is not blind faith. It is based upon the utter trustworthiness of God's Word. Scripture has never been proven wrong and never will be! "But the Word of the Lord endureth for ever...." (From I Peter 1:25). Selah! If we trust God for our eternal destiny, how can we not trust Him in all that leads to that destiny?   Thinker    (Ron)


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#14181 The Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Topical study of the book of Acts of the Apo...

Posted by Kevin Blankenship on 12 September 2013 - 06:35 AM

I struggled a bit with whether to post such a controversial topic. I mean....you have your traditional Southern Baptist, who are cessationist and who believe that when you pray the sinner's prayer with the pastor during the second stanza of Just As I AM....."that you recieve EVERYTHING God has for ya right then".  According their Statement of Faith, it is pointless to ask God for any additional "second blessing" of any additional, and deeper, move of the Spirit upon the person.

  AW Tozer said that the theology that I just stated above is what is poisoning the Church and robbing her of her power.

 But not to pick on the Southern Baptist churches (indeed, I was one until I pulled out) but even some charismatic churchs don't do this dynamic doctrine any good by placing an OVER emphasis on "Speaking in Tongues" as THE...PREMIER...ONLY.....initial evidence of being baptized in the Spirit.

   But today, and for the next several days, I am going to be using every resource at my disposal. referencing and cross-referencing, as I walk through the Book of Acts.  Our model, laid down in print, breathed by God, an instructional book for the churches throughout the centuries. Sadly, many....if not most, (at least in my region), churches have ultimately deviated from the Church as seen in the book of Acts. 

   I thought about doing a TOPICAL study on Baptism in the Holy Spirit using the Book of Acts as my guide. But then, I fear that it create a bias in me to see scripture as I WANT to see scripture. So, sometimes, I believe it helps greatly if we have NOT been influenced in our thinking.....our personal creed......by a preacher or teacher who we lovingly respect and admire. Yes, for me, for many/most of us......that would be great persons of the Faith like Tozer, Simpson, Torrey, Spurgeon, Finny, Edwards.....etc etc

  But I will ALWAYS read their books as I always am Spiritually uplifted and edified by their words.  But even Tozer himself said, and I paraphrase:  "The BEST way to study Scripture is upon one's knees with one's Bible spread out before him, and in a prayerful mode. If a person runs across a troubling text, pray about it BEFORE rushing to get a Commentary. so that God will have first chance at disclosing the secret to the earnest seeker."

   But I will stick to the title of this thread because of it's paramount importance in the Book of Acts. Just think: "The Promise of the Father".  It would seem that a whole lot more emphasis was placed on being filled with the Holy Spirit after conversion and then baptism.  It seems (and I could be wrong) that alot of what is preached and taught these days does not include this subject that was very much included in the preaching/teaching of Paul.   It's got to the point where, when we think of the Church.....and in the same thought, think of being filled with the Spirit, we instantly have visions of Grandma's church were there was always a loud and raucous "alter service" replete with everyone (who'had it') talking, often shouting, in an unknown tongue.....coupled with people being prayed for and falling backwards and being caught by an usher and allowed to slide to the floor. Far be it from me to try to stifle a work of God. I don't want to be guilty of fighting against God or His Church as I will always be on the losing side of that fight. But then, I also realize the human tendency (I am human, too) to gravitate away from the Godly instruction and into a way of doing things that emanates from the brain of well intentioned people. I have mentioned the two extremes. As I study the Book of Acts, I will make a monumental effort to unlearn (if that's even possible......but with God, all thing's are possible) all I have 'picked up' over my years in various denominations along with their Tenets and Distinctives. Please pray for me as I seek God's Will for my life.


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#11938 Merry Christmas from the Bobo Team

Posted by Andrew/Esther Schaeffer on 08 December 2012 - 02:40 PM

Christmas is a time of numerous outreach efforts. After a week of intensive evangelism, a new church will be started in the village of Orodara. December 11 is the date for a youth gathering at our Bible School. This is usually the largest youth event that our church/mission organizes. On December 20th we are hosting a Christmas party for the students and parents at the deaf school. Our missionaries will be preaching and participating in baptismal services. We need your prayers for these important events scheduled for this month.
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#18363 Should Christians Drink Alcohol?

Posted by Big John on 15 April 2015 - 11:13 PM

In my humble opinion this is not a yes or no question,  I'll start with the obvious.  Eph 5:18, be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess: but be filled the Holy Spirit.  Add to that I Tim 5:23, drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomachs sake and thy frequent infirmities.  Then we have I Cor 6:12, all things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.  In addition, I Cor 6:19-20 says your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost ...ye are not your own...therefore glorify God in your body... 

 

We all have free will.  And more than that, as christians, we have even more freedom than those who do not know the Lord.  All things are lawful for us.  So the easy answer is, yes.  Christians can drink alcohol.  But Paul also gives a warning saying that he would not allow himself to be brought under the power of any.  So it is a choice.  Paul, it seems chose to not drink.  I know my grandparents would not drink caffeinated beverages (coffee, colas, etc.) for the same reason.  My parents drank coffee in front of their parents and my grandparents never said a word about it.  It was simply a choice they had made that they believed honored their relationship with the Lord.  And that is really what this boils down to, I think.

 

I find as I draw nearer to God there are more and more little things that I feel the Holy Spirit identifies to me that may not be the best for me.  Now this gives no right of judging someone else.  But as a person of free will I have the right to choose this or that to be a part of my life.  My relationship with God, is mine.  I will also add one more scripture.  I Cor 8.  I will simply comment rather than put the whole thing here.  This is where Paul talks about meat offered to idols.  For one to eat this would defile his conscience but Paul states we know that this is not so.  He states that meat cannot defile us.  And so it is, that if we live in the liberty of the Lord ALL things are lawful to us.  It is the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that directs us.  But if we are sensitive to our brothers and sisters and to the Holy Spirit we will conduct ourselves in ways that will not hurt the conscience of others.  That means that there may be times when we do not avail ourselves of the liberty we know we have for the sake of someone elses sensibilities. 

 

Just remembered some other scriptures.  Lev 10:9  this instructed the sons of Levi (the priests) not to drink wine or strong drink when serving in the tabernacle.  I'm a bit of a student of the tabernacle and its many lessons but I'll just leave this thought.  Why did God tell the priests not to drink alcohol.  Combine with that I Peter 2.  A holy priesthood, a royal priesthood which is the house of God.  That we as christians are to be.  

 

Hope this helps but I really don't think its just a yes or no and it certainly isn't a question you can answer for someone else.

 

Big John


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#17590 That wonderful cross

Posted by Andrew/Esther Schaeffer on 28 September 2014 - 06:23 PM

Recently we helped our parents to move out of their home of 38 years into a smaller, one level house.  As with all moves like this, there are many "treasures" that cannot be taken along.  I volunteered to organize the cleaning of the old house and asked women at my Bible study if they would like to help.  I had many volunteers, one being a new believer from Lebanon.  While we were cleaning I told the women that they were welcome to take anything that they wanted from what was left in the house.  There were beautiful silver trays, crystal dishes, plastic containers, flower vases, serving bowls, candlesticks, a wide assortment of things.  But this woman had spotted a small gold cross and picked it up and held it to her and with tears in her eyes she said, "This is all that I want".

 

For some of us who have grown up with the symbol of the cross of Christ, we can forget how powerful a symbol it is for those who have strived to earn their salvation.  This Lebanese believer reminded me of the preciousness of the cross of Christ.


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#16837 As I read through the Gospels.......something troubles me.

Posted by Charles Miles on 30 May 2014 - 06:00 PM

Kevin,

 

I hope and pray that I might tell you something of value here, but maybe this revelation is different to different people...but I think not.  When we ask the Lord to reveal Himself to us, He will.  Maybe all my life I was not ready or at a point to hear what He said in answer to that question, but there came a time and a situation where I had to listen to what He had to say. It was a total shock and an experience that changed me forever.

 

A few years ago I was at a point of total desperation with my life and to a point that I was being crushed by situations far beyond my ability to do anything. Life simply became not worth the effort because there was no humanly way out. Let me say now that the situation was not the sudden death of my wife of 40 years on our son`s wedding day.  I will say this though....had this not already have happened, her death would have destroyed me, she was the anchor of the family for years and had a very close walk with the Lord.  Her walk was so close to Him that I now look back and am amazed at how I totally missed His presence in our home.  Anyway, you asked, so now I`ll try to explain....

 

One night, late, after no sleep, I went out into our back yard because I was so troubled I simply did not know what to do(2AM).  I had been a "Christian" since age 9 and I had this God and this Jesus but got no peace from either in my daily life.  The walls were closing in and the deep hole I was in was filling up with me on the bottom. I considered myself a "good" man and always tried to do the right thing in everyday life, but somehow that seemed to make no difference.  I lost hope and knew something was eating me from the inside, but I had no idea what it was or what I could do...except to just give up and die.  Let me add here that I was a Sunday school teacher and was very active in our church at the time. At no time was I suicidal or had any wish to harm myself...I just had run out of hope.    I fell on my knees and looked up into a canopy of stars that seemed to stretch from horizon to horizon, then I asked God for help.  Not just the Sunday morning prayer we have all used, but a deep, soul deep, cry that was beyond any words or human language.  I`m talking about a groaning, pleading, falling on your face, very, very earnest cry to the God of the universe.  I was weak, unworthy, sinful, and I knew it, but I asked for His help...and asked for Him to just take me if He wouldn`t give me the help.  I knew I didn`t deserve Him even looking at me, but He was the only one big enough to do what I needed done.  I told Him I knew about Him and that I went to church, taught SS, and that my wife knew Him.  Now I have never heard the audible voice of God(although I would really like to), but a sensation, an inner "knowing" in my soul started to talk to me..and here is what I heard.  "I am glad you finally got here Charlie.  I`ve been waiting for this moment for a long time.  Yes, you know ABOUT me, but you don`t know ME". "I have known you forever and I love you....yes, you with all your faults and messes.  Do you understand that knowing ABOUT me just won`t get it?  What I have always wanted from you is a RELATIONSHIP.  I want us to be close, so close that I live in you, around you, and allow you to depend upon Me. All you have to do is ask for this relationship and it is yours....better than that....it is OURS!"  Now, I ask you....where do you go after a conversation such as that??  By this time I was flat on the ground and all my clothes were wet with dew.   I could only muster up enough energy, guts, or what ever, to say...but I don`t deserve anything like that.  The inner voice then said..."I know that better than you, but here`s the thing, I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE, you can`t comprehend the enormity of My love for you.  I am infinite and My love for you is infinite.  Give me all this baggage, this worry, this hurt....I`ll take it all and give you a peace you cannot fathom.  You can live in my Kingdom and I`ll make you my child.  You can have all the benefits of being a child of mine, so if you need to discuss anything with Me, you can call Me ABBA(daddy) and I`m already there with you".

 

Now I could go on, but I want to ask if anyone else has had this happen?  If this happened to you would it change your life?  Would it open your eyes to the love God has for us?  I got up off the ground about 6AM.  Other things were discussed, but the post is too long already so I`ll end by saying that the love of God is real, it is huge, it is already all around us and all we need to do is to reach out, confess, repent, and ask for a relationship with God the Father.  You don`t even have to ask for this relationship if you don`t understand what it is.  He will offer it if you just tell Him you must have Him in your life. 

 

The whole process of allowing this relationship to exist has already been accomplished by Jesus and His sacrifice.  IT IS ALL DONE!!!  There is no way we could ever do this without Jesus, but He showed us the love of the Father by doing the work that HAD to be done for us.

 

Does this answer your question Kevin?  It is the only way I know how to answer what you asked.

 

A child of God due to the grace of God,

 

Charlie


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#16397 My incomplete testimony

Posted by CHRISTOPHER310 on 05 April 2014 - 06:51 AM

It was December 2010 and my life was over as I knew it.

Earlier in 2010, my wife walked out on me with our 4 year old daughter in hand. At the time, I did not know she wasn’t coming back nor that she plan to cut me out of my daughter’s life completely. All I knew was that her and I had relationship problems for years and yet, always stayed together. I had no reason to believe that my wife was not going to come back from a family visit out of state or the reason for the visit she gave me was a lie to cover up her plans to leave me for good.

When I finally realized my wife wasn’t coming back, that she lied to me and that she had intentionally shut me out of my daughter’s life, I reacted. Yes, out of anger and hate I reacted, but also out of the love for my daughter and as a father. I reacted and took matters to the legal system. Lawyers, police, court orders and so much more. All legal options where explored and most where used. My wife and I went into legal battles. It was horrible. Two people who once loved each other attacking each other now. Parents of an amazing little girl going head on with each other. It was even worst cause neither of us gave much thought ( if any ) to the position and pain we were putting this innocent child of ours in. As parents, we failed and it was so obvious to the world, but not to us.

After months of battles and tons of emotions and money, the legalities concluded enough for the dust to settle between my wife am me. Our daughter survived, but was forever emotionally marked by the ignorance of her parents. My wife and I ended up with joint custody and equal rights. For the most part, the best and fairest outcome that could of happened, happened. I was satisfy. I lost my wife, but kept my legal rights and abilities to be a father to my daughter and be a part of her life. My daughter was adjusting to the new situations rather well. Yes, I was satisfy. That was December 2010, however...

In that same December 2010, my life was over and I knew it. Something inside of me that I can never express in words, was so hurt and destroyed. Something that brought the life I always knew to an end. I remember sitting on the bed in what was the master bedroom of my wife and me. I sat on the bed with a razor blade in one hand, looking down at the wrist of my other arm and wanting to end my life. Even though I got what I wanted from the legal battles between my wife and me. I got my life with my daughter intact, I still was hurting so bad inside and felt I lost my life. That the only thing I had left was pain that was not ending. Pain I could not and did not know how to end. I sat there with the razor blade thinking of slitting my wrist and letting all that pain slowly bleed out of me. That was an option I was seriously considering.

I had no real family support to turn to or lean upon. No friends beyond a lose friendship here and there. I was on my own in the end as the dust settles between my wife and me.

Then in this very brief second of time, I had another thought. I thought, God. Turn to God. Ask God for help. Give God a chance to take my life rather than me take my own life. In this very brief second of time, I held back with the razor blade and instead, I broke down emotionally, crying out to God for help. That was the moment that forever changed my life in ways I could of never thought or foreseen.

I told God that I am hurting. Hurting bad and I didn’t know why. That I did not want to die. I just want the pain to die and I wanted another shot at my life. I couldn’t do this on my own. I asked God to help me. To help remove my pain and to give me another shot at life. Help me rebuild my life, but not in the way it was. The way my life was obviously didn’t work so I know I can’t rebuild it the same way. I asked God to take my life as I give it to him and rebuild it anew. Into something better than it was before. Into something beyond what I can do.

It was right after that conversation with God that I had another thought. Put down the razor blade and turn on the computer. I ended up e-mailing a so - so friend with a request for insight into local counseling options. It was a simply act and the best one I had at the time. That e-mail was responded to in a matter of minutes. They sent me a link to a website that had plenty of resources for me to explore. I took that link and explored. I eventually came across a counseling option the fit my needs really well, but one based out of a local church. I did not want to bring ‘religion’ into my struggles nor what I feared of ‘religious’ people. Never the lest, I did set up a first appointment and gave it a shot.

That was December 2010. There has been many struggles from then until now ( April 2014 ). I will skip those years of details and struggle. I will share this. It’s been years since I felt that bad and felt so self destructive. Instead, I have gotten the emotional help and healing I needed. I gotten the spiritual growth and passion I now thrive on. Baptized in 2011 and re-baptized in 2012. Actively involved in my church for years on many different aspects. Services, volunteering, classes, groups, and many, many friends and support. I have a relationship with God that is always a learning and growing experience that never fails on me. I have shared God’s love with some who aren’t believers with so - so results. But most of all, I got that other shot at my life. I got my life rebuilt anew in a way better than what it once was or ever was. All I sought and asked for, I found and have been blessed with. God gave me what I asked for. No, I don’t live a perfect life. Ha, not by any means do I live a perfect life, but I never asked God for a perfect life. I got the life I asked God for and to that, I am incredibly grateful for. God was there for me when I wasn’t there for myself. I got God in my life.

I don’t live the life I once did. Yes, I still have times where I have issues and struggles, but that is because I am human and such matters are apart of all human life. I still have a wonderful relationship with my daughter who is becoming a typical child, but ever so the love of my heart. My wife and I are not yet divorce even over the years apart. That is a topic left for another time to share. I can say I no longer hold anger or hate for my wife. I have been free of such things towards her.  I am me. I am living this new life from the ashes from the old life I once lived. I am the end result of God’s love and blessings.

This is my incomplete testimony of how I came to God and became a Christian. No regrets. Just a constant desire for more as everything is a blessing.


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#15938 When The Devil Whispers

Posted by Kenny on 01 March 2014 - 09:16 AM

“If the devil comes to you and whispers that you are no good, don't argue with him. In fact, you may as well admit it, but then remind the devil; Regardless what you say about me, I must tell you how the Lord feels about me. He tells me that I am so valuable to Him that He gave Himself for me on the cross.” -  A. W. Tozer


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#15197 The Brick

Posted by Charles Miles on 08 January 2014 - 11:03 AM

An old friend sent me a letter the other day but I delayed opening it for some reason and only got around to looking at it last night. The contents have been on my mind all day today. Here it goes.....

A friend bought a new Jaguar a few weeks ago after wanting one for years. Worked hard, saved long, and got exactly the model and style he wanted. New car, 1 week old, proud of his "baby". He was on his way to work a day or so after Christmas and was driving down a street in a neighborhood through which he seldom passed,being careful to watch for children darting out from between parked cars, when a large brick hit his driverside door with a loud bang scaring the daylights out of him. He got out, looked at the huge dent in the door, and then got back in and backed up rapidly to the area of the incident. He saw a small boy(4-5 years old) standing on the curb, so he jumped out of the car and grabbed the kid around the neck and started screaming ..."why did you do that? Do you understand what this will cost? That`s my new car!" The boy said..."but I couldn`t get anyone to stop. I had to get someone to stop! My little brother is a quadraplegic and has fallen out of his wheechair into the gutter facedown and I can`t get him rolled over and out of the water....he`s drowning!" The man helped get the other young boy, whom he had not noticed before now, out of the water and back into his chair. He then got the wet child a blanket from the still running car, and tucked it around the cold, wet child. As the older brother gently pushed his younger sibling away, he thanked the man.

After getting back into the car, the man could not even find the composure to put it in gear, he just sat there thinking about the incident and shaking. As of 2 days ago, he has not had the door repaired, and states that he may NOT have the door repaired. His comment to my friend who wrote to me was, "It`s a shame that it sometimes takes a brick to get our mind off of worldly things that do not really matter". "My mind was totally on me and what I had, where I was in this world, and how great things were going for me, when it should have been on the important things, like listening for the needs of others and loving my fellow man, whoever he is". That big dent is his car door is his reminder.

Man, do I ever hate bricks! Sometimes we have to have a brick thrown into us just for the Lord to get our attention. I have been hit by some pretty good sized bricks in the recent past, but maybe that is what it took for the Lord to get my full, undivided, worshipful attention. I plan to keep it this way as best I can because, man, I hate bricks!

In Christ`s love,

Charlie
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#14804 Thanksgiving

Posted by Charles Miles on 28 November 2013 - 08:10 AM

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  As the sun rises today I find myself standing in a cemetery by a familiar grave marker, but there is no  sadness in my heart because the lady whose name is on the stone is not there.  Oh there is a casket and a body  there I guess, but she isn`t.  I am  reminded of another tomb years ago that was found to be empty of the body of a man who was sacrificed close to that tomb.  Today I give thanks to a God who is my Father and who loves me so much he sacrificed his only Son that I might have a loving relationship with him.  As I look around, I see many, many things, but all will pass away except that love and that relationship.  As the sun slowly rises and there is more light, I know that I am a blessed man and I give thanks to my God who loves me more than I can comprehend.  I bask in his love just as I bask in the warming sunlight as it gently replaces the cold of pre-dawn. 

 

May God bless all of you as he has blessed me.  I know he will because he said he would.

 

Charlie


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#14519 Seeing the Light

Posted by Candice on 16 October 2013 - 03:07 PM

I see Jesus showing up in US history right now.  Today. Tomorrow too.  I see my own dependence upon "systems" that have held me captive for far too long.  When I was in my mid-twenties and working like the rat yuppie I was for Wall Street and legal firms in San Francisco, my father soberly warned me that all of the big packages these firms offered would be gone one day. I never forgot his words.  Now, I see our nation on the brink and only hope that that edge of the cliff is real spiritual revival - and persecution will be our hope for that.

 

I grabbed the mail today at the post office on my way home from town and saw the big "IBM Benefits" package arrive on its annual due date - mid-October.  My husband worked hard for 30 years for IBM, recruited right off campus at Cal Poly in sweet San Luis Obispo, CA - only 23 years old.  He went from robotics engineer to alliance sales executive traveling the globe.  All the perks, benefits and salary.  Then, just two months before leaving IBM, my husband is diagnosed with two types of cancers.  Treated with so many surgeries and chemo, I can't remember how many surgeries he had - we lost count.  I remember though that the LORD had urged me on to go to the doctors office that day with him.  I'd never done that before.  I urged the physician to perform a biopsy, which he was reluctant to do.  I insisted, when the negative result returned, it be sent to Mayo to a special pathologist.  He reluctantly did so.  It came back a high level cancer.  Praise God for His promptings!  Praise His Beautiful Name that my husband is cancer-free for four years now!  Praise Him.  How the LORD has changed our lives.

 

I look at this envelope, and doing so, I realize that the LORD is convicting me that we aren't to be dependent upon government or even any private "systems".  Not even medical insurance.  I've never received anything from the government.  But, the horn of plenty is plenty full with private benefits. 

 

I will be in prayer over this envelope, as I expect many of you will be.  Before I open it, I must know the LORD will take care of us - that we will be in His care - not the care of anyone else.  I don't want a return to the "old days", I want a new work from the LORD in my life -- His life in me -- totally dependent upon Him in sickness and in health.  I dread my husband coming home tonight.  Maybe I will squirrel this envelope away.  I'm sure it is full of bad news.  Good news?

 

How about you?

 

Love,

Candice

 

 


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#13535 Accountable to Company We Keep

Posted by Charles Miles on 06 July 2013 - 04:57 AM

Candice, I don`t think your friend will be able to support all her beliefs with scripture, and yes what she does is harsh...if not even a bit judgmental. Maybe her definition of "fellowship" is not the same as mine, but as I seem to recall, Jesus ate at and visited in houses where sinners lived. He also attended church at the temple, where there were some bad people doing some bad things. All this to say that it may not be where you worship or fellowship, but WHY you worship and fellowship where you do. We are to be the salt of the world, so why would salt be needed in a dish that already has plenty? Regarding the sermons, has anyone spoken with the pastor? Not to complain about sermon content, but just to speak with him about where one is in their walk and spiritual life. I know I speak with my pastor several times a week usually, and we have great discussions and prayer times together. I don`t know of any church that worships the Lord exactly how I would like to see him worshipped, nor do I know of any churches whose congregation is filled with every pew occupied by spirit filled saints.(would be nice to know of one, wouldn`t it?) That`s not the point, is it? The point is, why do I go and do I go for the right reason. It must be miserable to sit in a worship service and try to decide who in the room is saved and who is not! If someone is doing that, they need to re-evaluate why they themselves are there. Again, why is one there if not to worship? Do some people go to worship services just to judge the others who are there? Sad, really, really sad. Maybe we should hand out signs to everyone entering a worship service.....they could say: HERE TO WORSHIP, or HERE TO JUDGE OTHERS, or HER TO SEE IF ANYONE WILL TELL ME ABOUT JESUS, or HERE TO GIVE THANKS. Look how easy we could solve your friend`s problem and then she wouldn`t have to wonder who was on the pew with her. One more sign, if you will,......I`M HERE TO DO ANYTHING TO KEEP YOUR MIND OFF OF WORSHIP...GUESS WHO I AM. Sorry for the rant. In Christ Charlie
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#13525 What Makes Jesus Rejoice???

Posted by Lori Smith on 04 July 2013 - 08:24 AM

What made Jesus excited? We hear much in the Gospel about His motivation for saving us, but we rarely get a glimpse of His personality. However, Luke gives us an interesting clue. Firstly, he writes about the “seventy who returned” from their assignment of preaching, healing, and casting out demons (Luke 10:1, 17). The seventy-two are all excited because “demons submitted to them” (17). However, Jesus said, “do not rejoice in this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (18). In other words, see yourselves as seated in heavenly places, and don’t get too involved with the demonic stuff the earth is infused with. Preach, but don’t get involved in the demonic-inspired arguing etc.

Next, Jesus reveals what really makes Him excited. Scripture states, “At that same hour, Jesus REJOICED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT and said, ‘I thank you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for such was Your gracious will’” (21).

I think that is really interesting and reveals much! Jesus is happy and joyful and tickled that God revealed great wisdom to unlearned men, and hid it from the great scholars and leaders of the people! Isn’t that cool? So when we see wrongs and blasphemies being committed by the so-called scholars, we can rejoice like Jesus, knowing that God reveals great truths to the simple, and conceals them from people who think they know everything!
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